Reply Comments to FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force

policy paper | July 22, 2002

    Harold Feld Media Access Project Media Access Project; Andrew Jay Schwartzman Media Access Project; Cheryl Leanza
  • Michael Calabrese

NAF, et al. observe that wide support exists for all the points raised in the initial comments, although not from all commentors. Indeed, many commentors agree with NAF, et al. on one substantive point (e.g., increasing the availability of unlicensed spectrum) but not on others (e.g., allowing greater flexibility).

To address the overall thrust of these comments, NAF, et al. offer the task force basic principles for balancing the competing goals of the Communications Act: enhancing competition, innovation, diversity of voices in the media, and ensuring a stable communications platform for all Americans. Again, NAF, et al. stress that these principles and comments must be viewed as a whole. Thus, for example, while NAF, et al. argue that the FCC should, to the greatest extent possible, avoid restrictive regulation and rely on marketplace dynamics, this does principle does not exist in isolation. Where the Commission has made a decision to license spectrum, it must ensure that the licensee continues to act as the steward of a public resource rather than as the recipient of a fee simple absolute. Furthermore, where the Commission decides that it must, for good reason, deviate from auctions as the means of allocating licenses, it must impose sufficient conditions to ensure that the licensee acts in the public interest and does not receive an unjust enrichment in violation of the statute.

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